What is the test for interim custody of a child?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Suggitt v. Suggitt, 2003 CanLII 2253 (ON SC):

In Kingston v. Kingston [2002], O.J. No. 5367, Wright J. noted: There is a golden rule which implacably governs motions for interim custody: stability is a primary need for children caught in the throes of matrimonial dispute and the de facto custody of the children ought not to be disturbed pendente lite, unless there is some compelling reason why in the interests of the children, the parent having de facto custody should be deprived thereof. On this consideration hangs all other considerations. On motions for interim custody, the most important factor in considering the best interest of the child has traditionally been the maintenance of the legal status quo….By status quo is meant the primary or legal status quo, not a short lived status quo created to gain tactical advantage.

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